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Detection of Critical Antibiotic Resistance Genes Through Routine Microbiome Surveillance

NCJ Number
Frontiers in Microbiology Volume: 10 Dated: 2019
Date Published
9 pages

This study demonstrates the utility of postmortem microbiome sampling during routine autopsy as a method to survey antibiotic resistance carriage in a general population.


Population-based public health data on antibiotic resistance gene carriage is poorly surveyed. Research on the human microbiome as an antibiotic resistance reservoir has primarily focused on gut associated microbial communities, but data have shown more widespread microbial colonization across organs than originally believed, with organs previously considered as sterile being colonized. In the current study, postmortem microbial sampling detected pathogens of public health concern, including genes for multidrug efflux pumps, carbapenem, methicillin, vancomycin, and polymixin resistances. Results suggest that postmortem assessments of host-associated microbial communities are useful in acquiring community-specific data while reducing selective-participant biases. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019